Happy Independence Day!

4 Jul
Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. My family would start the day before, by heading out to our lake house to prepare for the next day’s festivities. We would clean, put gas in the boat, air up the tubes and volleyball, and pull out all the coolers.
Friends and family would start arriving after lunch on the 4th, and as soon as they were there, we’d fire up the boat and spend hours tubing and skiing. I have so many memories of “tube wars” – we’d hook 2 tubes to the back of the boat; the driver (either my Mom or brother) would do their absolute best to throw the riders off, and whoever stayed on the tube longest was the champion! Of course, the boys were always best at this particular game, and us girls mostly fell off quickly and acted as cheerleaders.

Heading out to the boat!

Breaks would be taken from boating activities to play a little water volleyball. The difficulty of this game varied from year to year, based on the water level of the lake that particular year. I remember the water being so high once that only our heads and shoulders were above water, making it particularly difficult to play. Last year, however, there was very little water in the lake at all, and everyone played sand volleyball instead!

After such exhilarating activities, we would all march our way up to the house for refreshments: cokes, cookies, chips and dips, and usually Popsicles or home made ice cream! As us kids got older and started having kids of our own, these breaks got longer and longer, resulting in much more porch sitting and much less volleyball playing. Soon, the new kids will be wanting to play volleyball with us old kids!

In the late afternoon, the grill would be fired up and hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and Dr Pepper would be had by all. Usually, a huge watermelon would be sliced and we’d all get sticky eating wedges of watermelon without utensils.

Once the sun went down, my brother and the older boys would start the fireworks. This was always the best part of the day! Lawn chairs would be lined up all over the yard, with everyone trying to get the best possible position.

Good seats!

The small children would be given sparklers to play with, and my girlfriends and I would usually supervise, letting their parents enjoy some relaxing time watching the show. Our fireworks displays were never the longest or the best on the lake, but long after we were done, we’d stay sitting in the yard, watching the fireworks explode all around the lake. Some places would end early like us, and others would keep going until the wee hours of the night. We would sit out for hours just watching the colors of the explosions in the sky and the reflections in the water.

Doesn’t look like she’s having fun.

I haven’t been able to celebrate Independence Day in this fashion since 2004 (when these pictures were taken). That summer I moved 1500 miles away from my family, and it isn’t monetarily reasonable to travel back home. I’ve still spent the 4th thinking about home, talking to people during the party, and imagining the fun. This year will be different, though. GP is working in the morning, and while I will be taking the day off of work, we don’t really have any plans. I do know there will be icebox lemon pie, Wimbledon watching, and fireworks!

Happy 4th of July!

Please share your favorite memories of Independence Day, either on your own blog, or in the comments of mine. I would love to hear about your traditions and memories!

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3 Responses to “Happy Independence Day!”

  1. Elke July 4, 2007 at 12:38 pm #

    I took your advice and talked a bit about holidays past on my blog.

  2. Tres Alejandros July 4, 2007 at 11:32 pm #

    Ahh…lake days. Fun memories. I really enjoy Ranger games with the fireworks to music afterward. But tonight we had a shindig at a friends house with a couple hundred people and a show on the neighborhood lake afterward. It is still hard for me to fathom shooting off fireworks in the city! (I can still hear them going off in the city and it’s 11:30)

  3. Elke July 5, 2007 at 10:05 pm #

    OMG, Knit Picks has all their books 40% off! I got Victorian Lace Today! *happy dance* I only hope my projects will be as successful as yours!

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